Friday, October 2, 2009

Salmon Dance

I'm more than half way through the work I am doing in the bedrooms so why oh why oh why does the place look ten times worse? It seems to me that that is why so many people leave jobs unfinished; small improvements are made whilst the rest of the house falls about around your ears, all other family members oblivious to the clean washing having fallen over onto the floor hey, has that wee lad just walked over my freakin underwear in the socks he has been wearing all day...?!?! and the dishes piling up at the sink.

Today, I take a deep breathe and get on with it all. My husband has taken the day off to help me. The girls rooms are as complete as they are going to be for now; another few shelves, some flowers to draw onto the tree decoration, a few cushions to make but all that can wait. It's the wee lad's turn and boy, is he excited!

We had our salmon last night, the kids opting for fishcakes and Brian and I having ours pan-fried. It was incredibly delicious (and so simple) and I could have eaten the whole meal again. I didn't but I could have.

Salmon Fishcakes
2 salmon fillets
Lemon juice
Olive Oil (or butter if you prefer)
Maris Piper potatoes, approx. 2 lbs, cooked until soft and mashed with low fat margarine (or butter on occasion). Don't add milk.
Flour for coating
Oil for cooking

Put the oven on to 200 degrees Celsius. Place salmon into tin foil and drizzle over a little olive oil, some white pepper or black if you prefer and squeeze a little lemon juice in there too; I cut off a slice and place it on top of the fish. Wrap foil loosely but tightly and place in oven for around 10-12 minutes. The fish should flake easily when cooked. Cut from the middle with a fork to check.

Remove salmon from salmon skin and put into mashed potato pot. Pour over any excess liquid. Mix together well and taste; add a little salt or pepper if you want to. You can also add spring onions or spinach or whatever takes your fancy. I like to keep it simple for the kids.

At this point, you can place the fishcake mix into the fridge for later but, as long as you cooked the mash first and you can handle the mix which should be cool to warm then do so. Make fishcake pattie shapes with your hands and dip them in plain old flour; no need for egg dip or seasoning.

Heat some oil (I used vegetable) in a frying pan and place fishcakes into hot pan. Cook until brown and very carefully lift fishcake and turn to cook on other side. What I like about this method is hardly any oil is soaked up into the fishcake as the flour seems to act as a barrier and you are left with unadulterated fish and potato in the inside but a lovely, browned crisp on the outside.

Place fishcakes on kitchen towel. If the mix had been in the fridge and hasn't had time to reach room temperature, then you would place them in the oven at this point for around five minutes to make sure they are heated through. These were served with broccoli, green beans and thin slices of cucumber...oh, and some tomato sauce!

Pan-fried Salmon with Crushed Potatoes
A salmon fillet per person
Sesame oil
Soy Sauce
Sesame seeds (or linseeds)
Baby potatoes
Sea salt

Boil potatoes in salt water until soft. Drain, then dry potatoes over the heat for a moment (in pan!) and then add a good dollop of margarine, a generous pinch of sea salt and gently break up potatoes and mix in marg and salt with a fork. So simple but really delicious and marg tastes just as good as butter in this recipe.

Toast some sesame seeds or linseeds in a dry pan with no added oil. These pop like crazy so once they start, remove from heat and pour onto a plate.

Pour a drizzle of sesame oil into a frying pan and heat. Place salmon fillets, face down into the pan and let them sizzle away until golden brown and almost cooked. Turn over and cook on the skin side; if you like to eat the crispy skin then salt it first. Turn the salmon onto it's side and then the other until cooked through and all the salmon fillet is browned. Place on a warm plate. Drizzle around the plate a little sesame oil and soy sauce.

I don't think the picture does it justice; Brian took it for me using his mobile phone camera as my phone has went awol. Pesky kids.

Put on plate a good helping of the potatoes and the veg of choice. After the salmon came out of the pan, I left it to rest for a minute and stir-fried some peppers with no added oil. It picks up all the flavours still lingering. For Brian, who doesn't like peppers, I had kept aside some of the kids broccoli and green beans and heated them up in the same pan; they went a bit crispy and crunchy and were, I am told, delicious. Finally, sprinkle over the seeds of choice.

Anne had invited a few of us round last night to have a glass of wine and some lovely nibbles; mini lamb koftas, prawn bites on blinis, mini pitta bread stuffed with coronation chicken and salad, sausage rolls, chicken tikka bites, lovely dips, crisps and poppadoms. Mmmmmm! It was a wonderful night.

I took round some wine, toasted almonds and hearthbread, made with garlic and thyme, one half also dotted with rosemary and tomatoes and sprinkled with a little bit of Parmesan, once cooked. All of the bread was drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. It looked lovely however, when I make these, I always make two. The one we were keeping was tasty but I felt the garlic had caught far too much and gave off a bitter taste. The next time I cook this, I'm going to add the garlic/oil mix ten minutes before the end as I think it will taste better.

On a completely random note, I leave you with a photograph of the kids, taken just before bed the other night, set up by Fraser. I think I know who lost my camera......

Kelly drew a cow, cut it out and stuck it on her notice board; the collar round it's neck reads "MOOlan". I thought that was funny you may not but I'm sharing anyway.


Equidae said...

ahhhhh you got me more into my cooking mood now :) uff I wanted to do salmon today but forgot totake it out of the freezer :(

Protege said...

I think your posts are like pages from a wonderful cookbook.;))
The picture of the kids is priceless, they are very cute.
I really like the picture of you and the baby on the sidebar.;)
Enjoy your Friday.;)

Amanda {My Life Badly Written} said...

I love salmon!!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I didn't know salting salmon skin will crisp it up. Do you do this because instead of patting the salmon dry before cooking?

I always forget about sesame seed oil. It has great flavor and I forget to use it. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

DELISH!! I love salmon and I love potatoes and veggies. I will surely have to try this. And I always read about your food when I need breakfast.


beagle said...

That meal looks so wonderful! I love the cow art, too cute!

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The Redhead Riter said...

Everything looks and sound so yummy. I haven't ever heard of hearthbread.

Helen McGinn said...

Equidae, it's a wonderful Saturday dish anyway... ;O)
Protege, thank you so much! Have a wonderful weekend too. x
Amanda, me too. Almost as much as bread...and cheese...and eggs...oh, and there is chicken, curry.....
Little Miss Blogger, I slash the skin, rub over a little oil sometimes and sprinkle with the salt. The salt seems to absorb any moisture and helps crisp the skin up beautifully, plus it tastes wonderful.
Mrs Fish, I heartily recommend it! x
beagle, isn't it a cute coo? *L*
vincent, I'll be in touch, thanks for thinking of me.
Redhead Riter, it's a great bread for 'normal' ovens as you can't really go wrong. :O)

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

Yummy! My husband would eat fish every night if we'd let him! I like eating it, but don't like to cook it. BTW, I LOVE your spooky blog additions! Is your birthday on Halloween?

Anonymous said...

Ah I too have done the DIY/Decorating Dance - juggling home improvement with regular household stuff. It can all get quite daunting. You've done a very nice job on your daughter's room ... stick with it. :)

Nice recipes and I'm very interested in that Hearthbread. I must give that a go.

Helen McGinn said...

Carolyn, I'm 40 on November 5th! Aargh!
angelcel, thank you, I'm quite pleased with it. Hearthbread is great; any topping would work really. :O)

Italo said...

HELEN I HATE YOU, because of your post my mouth i watering and it's early! Now I must to go to the pizzeria for a piece of pizza. :D
The salmon i n the photo looks so good! I will plane to make the salmon recipe. ciaooooooooooooooo.

Helen McGinn said...

Italo, *ROTFL*! I know you love me really.....

Lindsey said...

Yum! Looks great!

Stopping by from SITS!

Love your blog!!

Unknown Mami said...

Salmon cakes sound delicious and Moolan is hilarious!

WhisperingWriter said...

That cow is adorable!

Happy SITs Saturday Sharefest!

Sumandebray said...

It was incredibly delicious (and so simple)....
what a tasty post. But it reminded me of the theory of relativity. Simple and Complex are so relative!
The pictures of the kids are priceless... very cute indeed

Holly said...

That looks delicious! I am pretty lame when it comes to cooking fish (of any variety) but I love and it so do my kids, so I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

Holly @ 504 Main